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Shamed ex-Walsall councillor takes £7k crime role

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A disgraced former councillor has been appointed to the crime board responsible for setting West Midlands Police strategy and holding the force to account.

Former Walsall councillor Waheed Saleem

Waheed Saleem was named by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson as one of eight Strategic Policing and Crime Board members.

But his suitability for the role – which attracts a £7,500 salary for up to four days a month service – has immediately been questioned.

In 2004 Mr Saleem was banned from being a councillor anywhere in the country for a year after leaking commercially sensitive information concerning the sale of council-owned property in Walsall.

He tipped off Abu Bakr Girls School that the highest bid for the Butts Centre, in Butts Road, had been £205,000 after he had sought and received the information from the authority's property and development manager.

This took place before the sale of the land and allowed the school to submit a higher bid.

His actions were deemed to amount to serious misconduct by a tribunal run by the Independent Adjudication Panel for England.

West Midlands UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge has spoken out about the appointment, warning Mr Jamieson he should consider Mr Saleem's appointment carefully.

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Mr Etheridge said: "It would appear there is a very significant question mark against Mr Saleem's integrity based on his past conduct."

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson

A spokesman for Mr Jamieson's office said: "We are aware of the issue from 12 years ago – and Waheed's excellent work in the community since then.

"As Waheed says himself, he was a newly-elected councillor at the time and has learned from this mistake and moved on."

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